If you think about it, the residency matching process is a little like speed dating, though in slow motion. Once the application and interview season finishes, training programs create a rank list of their desired applicants, and all applicants create a rank list of their desired training programs. Because of the intensely competitive nature of the process, students don’t divulge their wish lists prior to Match Day, if then.
The “match” is actually determined by a Nobel Prize-winning computer algorithm managed by the National Resident Matching Program. The algorithm sorts through each medical student’s list of residency programs they’d like to attend and aligns their preferences with the students chosen by the directors of residency programs.